EU Civil Protection Mechanism: European Commission helped mobilise firefighting aircraft for Italy to battle forest fires

BRUSSELS, 29-Aug-2017 — /EuropaWire/ — The Commission has helped mobilise firefighting aircraft for Italy, through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, following another request by the country for assistance to battle forest fires. Responding immediately to the request, France has offered 3 planes (2 Canadairs and a reconnaissance aircraft). This is the third time Italy has received EU support to manage forest fires this summer. Italy has also received support from the EU’s emergency Copernicus satellite to provide mapping to the national civil protection authorities. Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides said: “The EU stands in full solidarity with Italy. Throughout what has been a particularly difficult summer, we have been thoroughly committed to helping countries deal with forest fires. Our Civil Protection Mechanism has been put into action once again and I thank France for their swift offer of assistance to Italy. Our thoughts remain with the brave first responders and those effected by the fires, and we stand ready to provide further assistance if requested”. The EU Civil Protection Mechanism has been activated multiple times this summer by several countries across Europe and the Commission’s 24/7 Emergency Response Coordination Centre is closely monitoring forest fire risk across Europe and has already supported Portugal, France, Italy, Montenegro and Albania this summer. In addition, and as national capacities are overstretched in many countries, the Commission is co-financing 85% of related transport costs to countries offering support through the Civil Protection Mechanism during this critical time in the Mediterranean basin. Photos and video stockshots of the Emergency Centre are available, as well as a MEMO ‘Fighting forest fires in Europe – how it works’.
For more information: Maja Kocijancic – Tel.: +32 229 86570; Daniel Puglisi – Tel.: +32 229 69140
SOURCE: European Commission